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Will the ver.di strike at Amazon in November delay your Christmas presents?

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What does the ver.di strike at Amazon in November mean for your Christmas presents? Will they be belayed? Should you start looking for an alternative?

ver.di is combative: If the Amazon managers had hoped that the union would run out of breath, they would have been mistaken, it is said. In Leipzig, for example, the strike starts tomorrow the 2nd of November, other locations are to follow. Amazon announces that the employees are already excellently paid.

Strikes at Amazon: ver.di is calling on workers at seven locations to go out of work.

Unresolved differences for years

In the wage dispute with Amazon in Germany, which has been simmering for years, ver.di has again called for strikes. As the service union announced in the evening, the employees at the Amazon locations in Leipzig and at two locations in Bad Hersfeld will stop work on Monday. On this day, the employees there should take on additional tasks at the locations in Germany and abroad, which are not worked on in some federal states and neighboring countries due to the All Saints holiday.

What’s at the core of the dispute and strike?

  • Pay
  • Benefits
  • Career opportunities

From Tuesday (the 2nd of November) night, employees at the Amazon locations in Werne, Rheinberg, Koblenz and Graben will also go on strike. With the strikes, ver.di wanted to emphasize the demand that the US online retailer pass on the wage increases in the industry’s collective agreements to its employees immediately. 

For more than eight years now, ver.di has been demanding from Amazon to recognize the collective agreements for retail and mail order by contract and to conclude a collective agreement for good and healthy work, explained Orhan Akman, who is responsible for retail and mail order at ver.di.

ver.di calls for a strike at Amazon

As of Monday, employees at some locations are expected to resign from work. Ver.di has been calling on Amazon for years to recognize the area-wide collective agreements in the mail order business.

“If Amazon had hoped that we would run out of air, the managers were wrong.” The duration of the strikes is still open, said a ver.di spokesman on request. In the conflict, ver.di had tried several times to use strikes to increase pressure on Amazon. Amazon said the pay, benefits, and career opportunities at the company were “excellent.” Logistics workers have been receiving higher wages since the summer, a spokesman said. “Nobody earns less than a mathematical figure of 12 euros per hour plus extras here.”

Collective bargaining for state employees without an employer offer

The collective bargaining for the more than 800,000 employees of the federal states except Hesse will go into the second round on Monday in Potsdam.

The civil servants’ association and the ver.di service union are demanding five percent more money, but at least 150 euros per month and a supplement of 300 euros in the health sector.

The employers grouped together in the collective bargaining association of German states do not want to submit an offer from an employer until the unions agree to a reform of the classification system.

The unions oppose the downgrading of many activities. Negotiations will take place until Tuesday, the third and, for the time being, last round of negotiations is then planned for November 26th and 27th in Potsdam. Since there is no arbitration agreement, the unions can only force a deal through labor disputes should an agreement fail.

Verdi: Amazon pays comparatively less

An Amazon spokesman said that the group offers “excellent pay, excellent additional benefits and excellent career opportunities”. The starting wages for all logistics employees have therefore been at least twelve euros gross per hour “plus extras” since the summer. After 24 months, employees earned an average of EUR 2,750 gross per month.

Verdi said on Monday that Amazon had raised wages several times in recent years under the pressure of the strikes. Nevertheless, the group pays less than comparable collective bargaining companies.

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Michelle Halterman
USA, China, South Africa and now Munich - Michelle has come a long way in the world. She is an outdoor person and loves to be in nature with friends and on her mountain bike. Or she meets up with friends for pasta, vino, cappaccino & Co.
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